Horden Station project on track

Source: RTM Feb/March 2019

Helen Golightly, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), describes the benefits that the £10.6m Horden station will bring to the north east economy.

The announcement that plans to create a new railway station at Horden, near Peterlee in east Durham, have taken a big step forward with the approval of planning permission, is welcome news for the north east.

The Horden station project is just one of more than 50 major projects which have received funding from the Local Growth Fund here in the north east. The fund exists to support capital projects which, amongst other criteria, enhance transport infrastructure and support economic inclusion – and it’s clear that this project will do just that for the people of east Durham.

Public consultation in 2016 showed that 98.6% of respondents said they would use the new station, and it’s estimated that in excess of 70,000 passengers will use Horden station each year. It’s clear that there is a huge demand for this new facility from local residents, and we are looking forward to the benefits it will bring to people and businesses in Horden and beyond.

Access to job opportunities across the north east will be greatly improved for people in east Durham, and the development of the station, along with complementary walking and cycling infrastructure, will encourage the use of sustainable travel. Businesses and communities will experience reduced journey times, making it quicker and easier to access employment, education, training opportunities, and other essential services.

And of course public transport is often of vital importance to young people – many of whom may not have access to a car to travel to their places of work or education. The station will open up access to further and higher education establishments in Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and beyond, ensuring that young people in east Durham can benefit from improved links with nearby towns and cities.

Horden’s proximity to the attractions of Durham’s heritage coastline means that the station will also serve the needs of tourists, walkers, and other visitors to this dramatic area of coastline, providing an asset to the tourism industry in east Durham.

This is not the only rail improvement project which has received support from the Local Growth Fund in recent months. We’ve awarded funding to improve cycle facilities at Newcastle, Durham, and Morpeth stations, once again encouraging the use of sustainable transport options; and the Local Growth Fund has supported the refurbishment of Newcastle’s Central Metro station.

We also have a focus on skills development in the transport sector, investing £7m from the Local Growth Fund into Nexus’s new Metro system Training and Maintenance Skills Centre in South Tyneside, which will be used as a state-of-the-art training base. It’s vital that the next generation of transport engineers are given access to top quality training facilities like this as they prepare to enter careers in a resurgent rail industry.

The Local Growth Fund also awarded £8m to support the work which is currently underway in South Tyneside to relocate South Shields Metro station to a new, integrated bus and Metro facility – a key part of the regeneration plan for South Shields town centre.

The development of Horden station, along with these other rail improvement projects, aligns closely with the North East LEP’s ambition to support projects which are focused on growing the north east economy and improving life for our local residents. Good transport infrastructure is an essential part of a strong regional economy, and this project will make east Durham a better place to live and work for local residents.

Horden station received £3.34m in funding from the Local Growth Fund, alongside funding from Durham County Council and the Department for Transport.


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